All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Updated 11/20/16
Copyright 2016

Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

City Island Birds
Since 2007

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


Beginner’s Guide

A Common Loon, photographed on November 27, 2012 off Hunter Island. We’ll look for them again a few days from now.

We will definitely see Gadwall off Hunter and Twin Islands in a few weeks. This is a beautiful male.

We usually find an odd duck somewhere in the park. This one on City Island was probably an escapee from farm. He or she was likely destined to be someone’s dinner.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

Birding Advocacy

“The difference between a beginning birder and an experienced one is that beginning birders have misidentified few birds. Experienced birders have misidentified thousands.”

Pete Dunne

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Bufflehead are back. They are easily seen off Hunter Island.

This Barred Owl was seen on November 27, 2014. Other photos of Barred Owls I have are in early December, so maybe we’ll find one soon. The weather’s been so warm for November, that may delay their arrival, we’ll see soon enough.

American Wigeon are found on Hunter Island in the rocky areas, they seem to like being closer to shore.

Male and female Scaup. I have them identified as Lesser Scaup but looking at it again, I’m not 100% certain, a tough call. Nevertheless, we have both scaup in Pelham Bay Park off Twin and Hunter Islands.

Winter birds have arrived but most waterfowl have not, it’s too warm and little seems frozen to our north. Winter owls, like Saw-whet, Barred and Long-eared have not appeared yet to but it is kind of early. So we’ll have to be happy finding an unusual sparrow and be amused watching Chickadees, Titmouse and Juncos. In the meantime, think about attending the Bronx-Westchester Christmas Bird Count this year on December 26. I will post more information as the date approaches. If before then, more interesting species arrive, I will call a walk.

Nice to see so many Tufted Titmouse around. It seems they are having a very good year!

Results from Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum Walk

November 19, 2016  Link here for photos and story